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Byron Shire
October 17, 2021

The fastest runner in Clifford Street

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This year the motley crew from South Golden Beach dodged a big bullet weather wise and covid regulation sanction wise to run the annual Fastest Runner in Clifford Street event.

Sunday 25 October 2020 started out like any other pristine-ordered spring day. Typical early summer nor-easterlies chopped the morning ocean before blue skies and mottled cotton wool clouds fairy flossed the skies throughout the day.

Cometh the arvo, loud cracks of thunder forewarned a heavy downpour and some light hail.

Fastest runners and others – Andy Taylor, Nic White, Damian Farrell, Mylee Farrell, Jenna Cooper, Cathy who? and Tio Martin. Photo Tree Faerie.

By 4.45pm the skies cleared momentarily and 80 odd punters gathered for the 5pm start, hopeful for a coveted trophy, if not a chat and laugh with neighbours near and far.

This year the competition looked stiff; this was more a reference of whether rigor mortis was setting in for some, rather than an astute observation of any athletic prowess between competitors.

The runners come in all shapes and sizes, ages and phases of life. Some in shoes, many without.

About 35 kids took off for the first race. The tiny tots slightly behind the older, more serious ones so there isn’t too much carnage in the overtaking lane on the bitumen tarmac.

A few young athletes hit the bitumen brakes with their knee-caps as they misjudged their footing across the puddles that had developed in the pre-race showers.

The kids had a ball and dodged the rain by just minutes. Photo Tree Faerie.

Ten year old Tio Martin won the fastest boy trophy and 11 year old Mylee Farrell won the fastest girl for the second year running.

Hunter McKenzie, a veteran of most of the Clifford Street runs, was seen early on the beach in the morning stretching and practicing sprint starts. Hunter looked ominous pre race, dressed in his batman suit, to challenge for the coveted mens trophy this year. But to no avail, Hunter apparently is still finishing the race as this report goes to press.

It was Nic White who won the men’s open race for the second year in a row. Nic articulated his thanks in his finest British accent and it was hypothesized that maybe it is the cucumber sandwiches and Devonshire tea that fuel him to such victories.

Nic White and Jenna Cooper split the win for the Fastest Runner trophy. Photo Tree Faerie.

The fastest woman trophy was won by Jenna Cooper, who last won it a few years ago and just pipped the fast finishing Clifford Street trio of Sonya Tennant, Cathy Downing and Arna Dess.

Jenna was five when she entered her first Clifford Street race in 2001.

For the second year in a row, the winner of the over 50’s trophy was Andy Taylor. At the ripe age of 51, he is adding well to his previously sparse trophy cabinet.

Maiden runners and new residents to Clifford Street, Cathy Downing and 15 year old daughter Aly Downing had their own personal bet going on as to who would win out of the two. Cathy beat Aly by microseconds, coming fifth and eighth respectively. Aly lamented that her mum has bragging rights for the moment, but is determined to beat her mother in something else this year. Given Cathy is Clifford Streets own Personal Trainer it was befitting that Cathy took out the somewhat stigmatising ‘Nobody remembers second – Cathy Who’ trophy for 2020.

Sadly the finance committee had limited funds and couldn’t afford just one more trophy this year. If perchance they had, that would have gone to Damian Farrell as the fastest runner in Clifford Street
with Pink Hair.

Damian respectively kept to Covid 19 social distancing rules and lost by more than 1.5 metres.

There’s always next year. Who is the fastest runner in your street?

2020 Winners of Fastest Runner in Clifford Street
Fastest Girl: Mylee Farrell
Fastest Boy: Tio Martin
Fastest Woman: Jenna Cooper
Fastest Man: Nic White
Fastest Over 50yo: Andy Taylor
Fastest Runner with Pink Hair: Damian Farrell
Nobody Remembers Second Trophy: Cathy who?

The Clifford Street crew. Photo Tree Faerie.

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